Adam Eaton lobbied to start in right in last night’s series opener against the Miami Marlins, after he took a fastball off the outside of his right knee during Wednesday’s night’s 8-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles, but Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez decided that he’d rest the outfielder. He did, however, send Eaton in to pinch hit in the seventh inning of what ended up a 7-6, walk-off win over the Fish.
Eaton walked to start the bottom of the seventh, but two outs later, after Anthony Rendon took a walk that pushed Eaton into scoring position, Martinez decided to send a runner in for Eaton.
Max Scherzer came on to run the bases, and scored what was a go-ahead run at the time when Juan Soto doubled to right field to make it a 5-4 game.
“[Scherzer] was like Roger Rabbit behind me ready to go. I didn’t like — and we know that [Eaton] is sore, he got a big walk for us, but when he jogged to second base, it just didn’t look right,” Martinez explained, “... and like I said before you didn’t want something else to get hurt on him, so Max was ready.”
Did he have any reservations about using Scherzer, who’s just two starts off a stint on the Injured List after dealing with scapulothoracic bursitis and then a mild rhomboid strain.
“I asked him,” Martinez said, “... he says his legs are great, his legs are fine, ‘It has nothing to do with my legs,’ he said, ‘I feel awesome,’ so I told him to get loose and he got loose and he was ready to go.”
That one-run lead didn’t last long, as the Marlins scored two on Daniel Hudson in the top of the ninth, before Rendon drove in two runs with a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth, winning what was an ugly game for the Nationals.
What did Martinez think of the game overall?
“A little sloppy,” he said. “I’m not going to lie to you. We could have turned a double play, a little sloppy, but you know what, we never quit, they kept playing, they kept playing.”
“Let’s just say hey, we won a tough game, come back tomorrow and do it again, just play a little [cleaner], that’s all I ask, go out there and play good, clean baseball.”
It might have been an ugly win, but in the end, they all count the same.
“That’s over, done with,” Martinez added, “let’s come back tomorrow and go 1-0. Nobody said it was going to be easy, as we all know, but like I said, this team has character, and they’re resilient and they stay in the fight day in and day out and that’s all you can ask them to do.”
NOTE: Victor Robles squared to bunt in the bottom of the fourth last night, and took a fastball off the right index finger. He was in obvious pain, but stayed in the game, and eventually had X-rays on the finger, but he stayed in the lineup and managed to make it through.
“He’s good,” Martinez said after the win. “He had X-rays during the game, they came back negative, but he’s good, he just left my office, says don’t sit him down, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Is Robles in the lineup for the 2nd of 3 with the Fish? Yes on Robles. No on Eaton again tonight.